Continuing Professional Development Day
Wednesday 8th June 2011

Today was a success, or so the feedback seems to suggest. I have been organising a national CPD day (continuing professional development) for UKA for the last 2 months with our CMO, Paul Dijkstra & despite a few last minute call-offs from speakers & staff alike, everything went according to plan.

The morning started with Dr Rob Chakraverty (UKA based at Birmingham & Loughborough) presenting his thoughts & opinions regarding the use of epidurals in the management of distal pathology, which led to some stimulating debate on whether we should be using them more routinely in the acute management of hamstring injuries.

Fittingly, Dr Nick Webborn (LOCOG, University of Brighton) followed with a presentation addressing the neural influence of achilles tendinopathy pathology, which made me think more about the lumbopelvic position many of our athletes adopt & the subsequent impact that may have neurologically.

Heiko van Vliet (Compex, Lausanne) & Cliff Eaton (Compex, UK) then introduced the research & theory behind the use of neuromuscular electrical stimulation in the management of injury, rehabilitation & conditioning. Heiko is a long time acquaintance from my McLaren days when I lived in Geneva. We used to meet on regular occasions to discuss how I could best use NMES in the conditioning, preparation & recovery with F1 drivers & we have kept in touch ever since. As an ex-representative gymnast for the Dutch, he is naturally a flamboyant chap but looking past his extrovert idiosyncrasies, he is an extremely knowledgeable & very personable guy & Cliff compliments him perfectly with his background in rugby & athletics.

Throughout the course of the afternoon & the practical scenarios we worked through, I know that everyone learnt a great deal that will influence future practice. For me, the comparison of neural excitation in previously injured vs non-injured muscles was something that I have never done before & developing that information to train the muscle in a manner that you can then evaluate the metabolic deconditioning of the rehabilitating muscle has great practical relevance.

Barry Drust then contributed to the rehabilitation & training load theme with an overview of how he evaluates & manages training load in a Premier League football setting with Liverpool FC. The debate about how we could adapt the methods where appropriate to an athletics environment was useful to highlight how effectively we monitor training load presently & how we can improve that in the future.

So all in all, a great day & I am very grateful to the speakers for their time & efforts in accepting the invite to present & deliver to those that could attend.

For any research into electrotherapy modalities, check out Tim Watson's website at:

For more information on NMES & Compex go to:

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